Self Doubt Runs Rampant

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So, lately I have been having some serious self doubts about myself and my abilities. All my abilities…as a parent, grandparent, partner, writer, artist…

It started in November. It just started as a small inkling behind the eyes…a small thought here and there. A doubt in judgement here and there, and it just escalated.

Then I was sitting here the night before last working on something and I thought…should I continue to even try? My book is far from being as perfect as I want it. My writing doesn’t feel as smooth anymore. I have lost many followers and readers.

Should I keep my Zoe Ambler persona, all the time and work. Should I just let it go? Should I refocus elsewhere?

I am feeling very inadequate of late. Its a nagging feeling that is bringing me down more and more. I can attribute some of it to the holiday season. I always get a little depressed this time of year, no matter how well things are going.

However, I dont seem very productive. Mind you, we are all busy this time of year. This is a big book time. Here I am with the promise of a new book, yet not producing the final product.

I have family things going on that I was not prepared for.

I just have to question myself on why I keep up with things when I seem to be failing and falling behind. Am I disappointing anyone? The answer to that may leave me in tears.

I had a dream. I have talent. I am squandering it, I know. I am just not finding it within myself to chase these things. I feel so very let down.

Perhaps after the holidays I will feel better…if not, some hard decisions will have to be made.

Take care, my sweets~

No sleep, book news and musings…

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Again, I have disappeared for an extended amount of time. I tend to do that. I have tried keeping up with my snail mail pen pals, my last round of letters went unanswered but a few.

I am in one of my sleepless modes again. Musing my little musings.

I have a book a should be writing. The sequel to The Road of Darkness shouldnt be taking so long. I mean, the book is there, nearly done. I read over what I’ve written and end up scrapping it part of the way in. So, I have my beginning and my ending…though missing my middle. I am in a rut…a terrible, terrible rut of how Addison is making her way through her journey. I keep falling into this trapping that changes who she us meant to be. She is meant to be strong, fierce…she is meant to be disliked.

I’ve always held a fondness for unlikable characters that do have some redeeming qualities. I have had a reviewer state that they just couldn’t get into the character because she was SO unlikable in the fact that she did not discriminate in who she killed…especially the women and children. Well…thats what big bad vampires do.

So here in my second book I am finding Addison is softening up…and I do not like it. Yes, change is needed for her character developement, but I don’t want to change the core of her, and that’s what I keep sliding into. It’s horribly frustrating.

I have been writing short stories, and actively Role Play story writing in my time as I struggle with this.

I’ve also pondered trying to get some of these short stories and what-not published. I am looking at small publications, just my short stories here and there. So, if anyone knows some names they’d like to toss my way, I would appreciate it. I could always self publish a short story compilation, but I really am curious as to outside people looking over them and what I have to offer, seeing as I do write for more than one genre.

I have been on a voracious reading spree. I have revisited Eric R Lowthers novel and short story compilation, and find myself wanting more. He seem to be suffering what I am, as his second novel was promised in 2014 and it is yet to be produced. I love that mans writing, genius in the zombie genre.

Serial Killers…a passion of mine, I have read 3 books on the subject in the last 3 days. Oh, and one trivia and fact book.

I have no been very social…I mean, like, at all. I havent been visiting my favorite blogs, Facebook, twitters, etc.. I am sorry for that. I have even been a little withdrawn in my little gaming world. It’s a phase, I’m sure.

In health news, I have a new spinal doctor, and we are working on a pain management, and eventual elimination plan. I am currently pain-free as I write this and it feels remarkable.

The kittehs are well. All six of them. Okay, I will confess, they are terrors. All six of them. Spencer, or who I call ‘Lil man’, is the newest that I had brought home from my best friends place in New Mexico. He has grown like a weed, yet still looks so remarkably kitten-like. He is the king of holy terror as well. It is going on 5am and he is ripping through the house playing and antagonizing the older cats.

I really would like some sleep right about now. I tried about an hour ago and pretty much tossed and turned, got hot, then cold, and finally the cats playing dragged me from my bed once again.

Maybe I just sleep better during the daylight hours. Honestly, though inconvenient, I like my nights. No one to bother me, no phone ringing, the house is quiet-ish. Sleeping through the day can be hassle because of the phone, people, things to be done. Blah.

Well, I suppose I have rambled enough. I will get some stories posted to entertain you shortly. Dont forget about me!!!

I need help.

Mental Illness from my perspective

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I suffer from many disorders of the mind. Chemical imbalances, terrible phobias, psychotic tendencies.

Back in the day, the mid 80’s, the medical world did not have the aptitude for mental illness that it does now, so, as my mental illnesses emerged and ran rampant in my early and mid-teens, I received more disapproving looks and glares than actual help.

There is nothing more painful than a 15 year old who has been cutting for a few years to overhear a shrink tell your parents it’s a cry for ‘attention’. They also dumped the blame on my mother, who was riddled with guilt for years thinking she had done something wrong in raising me. Cutting and self-mutilation are not cries for help. There is actually a chemical reaction within the brain that cutting and pain produces, while also the act of pain itself is an indicator that you can indeed feel, and it feels good.

One of my suicide attempts at 16 landed me in the hospital for a good while. Do you know what the therapy consisted of? The doctors yelling at me and threatening me to straighten up and fly right and quit being a ‘brat’. This same mentality also deems suicide as ‘selfish’. Suicide is not a selfish action. If someone commits suicide, it was not for selfish reasons or to hurt those who cared for them. It is a release from all that is twisted and broken on the inside.

To this day, one of my nearest and dearest tries to argue that I am selfish for even entertaining suicidal thoughts. It hurts when you can’t change a stigma. However, I am honest in my feelings when asked.

I wear many scars of my cutting. I’ve hand many trips to the ER because I let things get out of my control. My best friend gets sad when she looks at my scars. She, however, does not lecture. She empathizes the best she can. Most of my friends do. I don’t have many friends, really, a bare handful that I will sit down with face to face. I like my friends to be pen pals or online friends due to my own quirks that society doesn’t deem acceptable.

I had a complete nervous breakdown in 2004. With that mental collapse came acute agoraphobia. I stayed inside, rarely even leaving the bedroom. I had my nest there…all my needed things. Computer, books and all my comforts.

Getting me to leave the house for something important, such as a doctor’s appointment, when I finally gave in to see one, took nearly a month to plan. Part of agoraphobia and social anxiety is ‘mapping your route’. In my ‘mapping’ I refused left hand turns. I know this sounds so illogical, but this is simply one instance of how my mind works and copes with things.

Through therapy and medicine, my agoraphobia is more under control. I mean, look…I am teaching classes at the local library. I’ve been to Arizona and New Mexico several times to see my best friend. Yes, I am medicated throughout the journey, but the point is…I am leaving my comfort zone.

Speaking of ‘comfort zones’, I have carefully and painstakingly crafted my own personal room within my house. It was once the garage, but the original owners turned it into a sunken den sort of thing. It’s very big. I could put a bed in here if not for all my bookcases and swords and general (very odd) toys. Everything has its place. When anyone else comes in here and moves something, it irritates me to no end. Others may see this room as just an office, but to me it is so much more. This is my haven. And when I say I don’t spend any time in any other place in the house, I am being completely honest. I recently purchased a new living room suit with the intent of spending more time in the living room enjoying movies and whatnot with the family. It’s been two months now, that has yet to happen.

Obviously I am getting better at social situations, so long as they are controlled, like the classes I teach at the library. Though, don’t call me up and say ‘how about I introduce you to some of my friends and we go out for dinner?’ That would be a no. I have one close friend here locally that I will meet up with for coffee, or go to our favorite lunch spot. Sometimes with nothing more than a few hours’ notice. That’s a huge step for me. An accomplishment.

A large part of going out west to see my best friend and going down to Dothan to meet with my other close friend is that they empathize. They have taken the time to know me and understand me, and would never ask anything of me that would tax my limits. These people are rare and very much loved by me. They ask questions sometimes, to better understand things, and that’s good! It shows me they want to know the limits and they are looking out for my comfort levels.

One thing I am not in control of, despite the heavy medications, is my bipolar disorder. When I am in a manic high, well…its best to lock me in a room with no sharp objects and let me talk a lot, because I tend to get very chatty and animated. When I am in a down, you will be lucky to get me out of my room. I tend not to take care of myself as well. No sleep, no food, I neglect personal hygiene to a point. I am just utterly sad and feel so very alone. It’s painful.

When my bipolar disorder gets out of whack, so does my schizophrenia. I hear things. Sometimes just awful things. I used to see things a lot, but not so much anymore. I may see a flutter or shadow from my peripheral vision. Hearing the voices though…that’s something I can definitely do without. My meds usually keep me on a pretty even keel, and when I do slide up or down, it’s not as terribly drastic as before the meds.

I also have severe depression with psychotic tendencies. Pretty self-explanatory.

I feel things very deeply sometimes. It really depends on what it is. I have little empathy for the population at large. However, don’t ever let me see animal abuse.

Most of the time, I take criticism very well. I mean, you have to when you are a writer or artist. You are under scrutiny. I’ve tried to take all my reviews that were less than favorable as learning experiences.

However, someone in a game I play said my writing was ‘underwhelming’. I have not written anything on that site since. I can’t bring myself to do it. I feel ashamed. I feel as if the whole community on that site is sitting back looking at everything I’ve ever written there (we’re talking 15 years of stories) and just grimacing as they read my words. It’s like a wound that just won’t close…it keeps bleeding and bleeding…and it only took one person to inflict it and drive me away.

As with most people that are on a lot of medications, when I am feeling good and happy, I tend to think I don’t need the meds. Huge mistake. I will admit, when I have a writing piece that needs to be done, or, say, NaNoWriMo is here, I will only take half doses of my bipolar meds, because yes, they honestly make me feel a little zombie-like. I am a very doped up person. In this little cheat time when I half my daily dose, it takes maybe a week before I start sliding up or down. In cases of an event like NaNoWriMo it is pretty solid that I will slip into a manic high.

I have admitted this all to my psychiatrist, and now every three months he orders blood work to check my Depakote serum levels. Damn it…he makes it hard to cheat!!

Another little thing I learned is to come up with tales of how I got hurt and need stitches. I used to be honest with the ER. Then my record made them stricter with me. They put me in a room to be stitched up, but they take my shoes, keys, purse, phone and even my water! So, the last time I did go to the ER, I had a wild tale as of how something sliced my arm.

I don’t know why I still cut. Sometimes, the thought just comes into my head and before I know it, I’m sitting there with a bloody rag and a feeling of calm. A serene calm. Other times, when I am manic, it seems to be a focal point for me, because my brain can’t seem to grasp hold of any one thing for more than a moment.

Are mental illnesses curable? No, I don’t think so. They are treatable, however. It takes a while. I’ve been trying and changing medications over the course of the last…almost 15 years or so. Hell, I was just changed to a new anti-depressant last month. It’s working, too! My Depakote has to be adjusted a lot though, it seems.

I think I am trying to make a point with this post…

If you know someone who seems like their struggling, try to help them. I know insurance and the cost of everything makes it very hard for people to get the treatment they need and the meds. Having good friends makes a lot of difference, too. Be a support system. If you suspect someone is hurting themselves, do not admonish them for it. Try to talk to them. Get to the heart of it. I have 4 people right at this very moment, at 3am, that I could call and they would not be grumpy or grouchy that I called them and woke them up. They would talk to me, ease me, their words would be meaningful and gentle and encouraging for me not to hurt myself. They would be there even if I just needed to cry. And I hate crying.

Mental illness is not a fad. Yes, I know there are people out there who claim to have illnesses that they don’t for the attention or benefits, but not everyone. In this day and age, depression is on the rise. When people do seek help, you aren’t just prescribed something and everything turns out fine and dandy. My first round of meds sent me so far out of control it was scary. A lot of the treatment is trial and error until you find something that fits with your body and brains chemical disposition.

Well, I’ve just rambled on, haven’t I?

In addition to the brain, my body is currently out of sorts as well. I took a trip to my family practice doc on Monday for a chest cold. I have COPD, so I don’t play when it comes to chest colds. Turns out I have myself a case of bronchitis. Antibiotics and cough syrup with codeine in it and I am still feeling like poo two days later. I get hot and then cold, I can’t sleep.

To top all that off, its pollen season here in the good old south. Everything outside is covered in a layer of yellow pollen. Allergies Ahoy!!! And with the pollen and nice temps, come all the bugs of the South. Ew.

The kittehs are all doing great. The kitten is growing well, though I think he is stunted from his time being lost and alone and eating nothing but bugs and stuff until my best friend found him.

Since cats are cats, and not all of mine get along, I can’t get a nice group photo. So, I think this weekend I will enlist the help of the daughter in setting up a nice background and sitting each cat up for a photo. Try to make it look all professional. Cyd and Siefer would sit together, and BaxterMarie would sit with Jeff. Any of the cats would sit with Jeff…he’s cool with everyone. However, little Spencer thinks it’s always playtime, so that’s going to be a challenge. And Quinny won’t sit still with anyone. Wow…this is starting to sound like a task…lol.

It has been almost 30 days since my last blog entry. For that, I am sorry. I lose readership and that’s sad, and totally my fault.

I have thought long and hard about even writing on this particular subject. It’s filled my mind every day, while I play with the cats, rearrange my office for the millionth time, read, write and put together my new computer. Oh, yes…new computer. Thank the stars above that I am super paranoid about losing my documents, programs, pictures and music. Everything is backed up on both Dropbox and an external hard drive…I didn’t lose a thing. And the new PC is awesome.

I’ll close this up by encouraging you to think things over, maybe open up some discussion in the comments.

I’m going to strive harder to not let 30 days pass without an entry again. It’s time to share some stories!

Contests Gallore

upliterate-com

So, recently I have been entering all kinds of Halloween/Horror genre story contests.

One in particular I worked for DAYS and NIGHTS on. I am kind of iffy about it. I liked it the first dozen times I read it.

Well, the reckoning time has come. I submitted it.

If you would, please follow the link and give it a read, and a vote?

Who’s the Monster? by Zoe Ambler http://upliterate.com/permalink/story/466/

I’d really appreciate the support. There are some AWESOME stories already submitted by others, so I am not holding my breath too much. One can hope, though, cant she?

Thank you my lovelies.

And for those who dont want to go and check it out, I’ll post the story here on the blog around Halloween!

~squishes my darlings~

Whats wrong with me? :[

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So, I know I’ve been pretty quiet lately, other than on my short story sites where I’m posting like a demon to get these short story compilations out. Most of them are already here on this blog, but there are about 30 more over on Jukepop, Wattpad, Tablo, Bublish, Medium, and of course, Niume. Go to Niume. Go to Niume. Read all the stories, drink all the coffee! Go to Niume.

I decided to do a bit of rearranging this weekend. You know me, my bright ideas. BLAGH. I got rid of the loveseat that was here in my office, and then today I was digging through a box to put my lovely pretties on my bookcase tops and whatnot and BAM! Sliced up on arm on something in that box. Dont know what it was, but ironixlly enough, I keep all my medical supplies in there. >.<

So I was bleeding like a stuck pigs, the wound is deep, but not long. I grabbed a dirty handtowel and wrapped it up and went to the ER for stitches. I was there for roughly 3 hours. Maybe longer. I didnt wear my watch, but it felt like forever.

I’m back here at home and not going near that box any time soon.

The office is coming together nicely though. Not that it didnt look smashing before, but it was time for a change. And without the loveseat I have much more floor space for the kitties.

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     The kitties on catnip.
🙂
Just thought everyone would like to see the kitties, because…KITTIES!
I’ll be taking it easy and uploading more short stories to Niume and Medium.
 ~whispers in your ear~ GO READ.
~squishes my loves~

Writers: Getting a little more exposure.

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In my last post, I made mention of a few website that I post my various stories, other than just here on the blog.

Its great to help build a following and fan base to broaden your readers, and, in some cases, gain the attention of agents and publishers.

To help you in this, I’m going to provide you a listing, links and my personal takes on each site.

Jukepop: http://www.jukepop.com/

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Jukepop is called a site for ‘Serials’. You post chapters, and they can be voted upon. You can make a little money, and you can even get some investors that you share your eventual profits with.

Personally, I just post there for the exposure. The posting process is a little difficult and time consuming, and then anything you post must be approved. ‘A Walk Amongst the Dead’ still has not been approved, and I can only assume because of the few profanities in the story.

Tablo: https://tablo.io/
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Tablo doesnt seem too impressive of a site. I know my profile and works do not get many looks and reads or upvotes. It is user friendly, however, and good for a little extra exposure if you can get followers built.

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/
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wattpad is extremely easy to use, but to gain a following you have to do a lot of reading and liking and following of your own to get anywhere. A lot of people have had great success with Wattpad! I am just now getting myself reaquainted with it.

Scriggler: https://scriggler.com/
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Scriggle…well…it takes some getting used to. Its easy to upload, simply copy and paste your chapters or story, but navigating groups, checking mail and comments are a little rough. I have my own group there for short story writers. Its great for building a following. And they have more than just stories. They have opinion sections, poetry, news. etc.. You can track your ranking and see how your doing in your story writing. Its cool…just a little difficult to check mail.

Bublish: https://www.bublish.com/
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Bublish is amazing, however, there is a catch. To get the most out of the site, you will have to break down and pay for it. A monthly fee of $9.99 a month, or $99.00 annually.

The site is easy to navigate, easy to post your work, and allows for ‘rough cut bubbles’ which you share via Facebook and Twitter. You choose what you want to share from the writing, and it creates a bubble all ready to post for you to your social media account. I personally like the service. Its easy to gain more followers as well, because Bublish will also make a tweets from their Twitter accounts with your bubbles and account name.

upliterate: http://upliterate.com/
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I love this site. It doesnt get you a lot of exposure, but you will get a small group of followers which will hopefully follow your social media accounts and website to see more of you.

Its super user friendly as well.

Medium: https://medium.com/
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Medium is another super easy site to upload your works to and gain a bit more of a following. People can ‘like’ and comment. Its very stream-lined and, as I’ve said, easy to use.

I have this as one of my main places to post my short stories, as I can do it super quick and without a lot of fuss.

Write Globe: http://writeglobe.com/
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This is a new site for me. I have yet to upload anything to test the waters. However, here is what I pulled from the ‘About’ page.

About Us

Write Globe is the perfect platform for every creative individuals in the world of writing, publishing and editing, who want to reach out to a larger section of the society.
Acting as the linkage between writers, poets, authors and publishers, Write Globe helps these creative individuals in showcasing their unique talent to the world. The books which are written by you will be promoted immensely on the platform of Write Globe and which will gain attention from several visitors of the website. Along with promoting the books, Write Globe also acts as an excellent base for those who want to submit their writings or articles or poetries.
Through Write Globe you can find convenient publishers and publishers too can advertise their brand’s service via this online portal. Recently book trailers have become quite popular for promoting upcoming novels and books and Write Globe has provisions for such unique book trailers on the website.
Promotional events like book launch, book signing or any other event can be extensively shared via Write Globe which will showcase your creativities to the world.

Niume: https://niume.com/
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This is one of my top favorites. It is very easy to gain a following on this site, and is so visually pleasing. You can host more than just stories as well. You can make blog entries in the ‘Lifestyles’ sphere. You can post your photos. You can show off your humor, and so much more.

I have gained a lot of recognition for the short stories I posted there recently, and a lot of excellent feedback.

Authors.me: https://www.authors.me/
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I am in love with this site. Totally. Its super easy to work with. A the extra fantastic bonus?

It links you up with Agents and Publishers in your selected genres.

You submit your work to the selection that matches what genre you have chosen for a particular book, set of short stories or poetry, and whammo…you get a response on how much time it will take for them to look at your work and get back to you.
I love this site.

~~~

Now, this list, with the exception of Write Globe, is in reverse order of how I use them. I know, I should have mentioned that at the start.

I know there are tons of other sites out there, for writing, blogging…everything under the sun. These are my personal favorites for writing…with a smidge of blogging.

So, I hope you all enjoy, look me up, and lets get some followers a followin’!